In an oversaturated field filled with step challenges and employee recognition platforms, Kaleana Markley, health and wellbeing program manager at Sequoia Consulting, recently began exploring ways in which engagement in corporate wellbeing initiatives can be maximized through creative usage of technology.
In the process, Markley has completely rebuilt Sequoia’s wellbeing program strategy from scratch, by moving away from a more traditional wellbeing model focusing on health fairs and biometric screenings in favor of an approach geared toward helping clients identify the short- and long-term needs of employees in order to implement benefits, perks and programs to attract and retain top talent within the organization, all with the assistance of Sequoia’s recently released mobile app.
Because of her innovative approach to the market, EBA selected Markley as a recipient of the 2017 Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising award. To select this year’s honorees, EBA editors asked readers to submit the names of thought leaders who are making their mark on the benefit business through their unique approaches to client relations, benefits technology and/or mentoring other women. From the dozens of submissions received, the editors chose 30 benefit advisers to recognize for their outstanding achievements.
“Not only has she shaped the future retention strategies and worked to move the needle on initiatives for hundreds of influential Sequoia companies poised for rapid growth, but she has also become an influential leader in the area of employee productivity and retention through next generation benefits strategies, speaking on panels and contributing at widely known industry events,” Jessica Haslam, also a health and wellbeing program manager with Sequoia Consulting, says.
Lesley Grady, VP of client service at Sequoia Consulting, says Markley is a pioneer in the wellbeing field, helping companies not only with strategically implementing sustainable physical, emotional and financial wellbeing initiatives, but also by digitizing employee experiences.
“Steve Jobs once said, ‘Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do,’” Grady says. “Kaleana is a Jobs-like force for our Sequoia clients, and is passionate about long-term employee engagement in wellbeing beyond the walls of an office.”
To make her message widely heard and respected, Markley strategically finds valuable touchpoints to engage with those that work with her both internally and externally.
“She makes it a point to connect regularly with every department within Sequoia to ensure that they are aware of the value of her growing field and how it relates to their roles and what they bring to the organization,” Haslam says. “All client service managers are trained by her two-man team on proper delivery and communication of potential offerings, services and industry updates.”
Haslam adds that Markley lights up any room she enters due to her vigorous enthusiasm for her work, and inspires all of those around her whether as a client or as a colleague.
“She treats every client as an old friend, laughing and joking as she continually drives home value of a healthy work life balance, which she embodies herself daily,” Haslam says. “Often she is seen firing off emails and project plans early in the morning on a Saturday, leading a spin class late morning and surrounding herself with close friends and family as the day goes on. As Kaleana says, ‘You have to work around living your life.’”
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